Tarja (born Tarja Soile Susanna Turunen Cabuli, August 17, 1977) is a Finnish singer-songwriter and composer. She is a full lyric soprano and has a vocal range of three octaves. Tarja studied singing at Sibelius Academy and Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe.
She is well known as a professional classical lead singer but best known as the former lead vocalist of the Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish, which she founded with Tuomas Holopainen and Erno Vuorinen in 1996. Their combination of hard and fast guitar riffs with Tarja's classical lead vocals quickly achieved critical and commercial popularity. Their symphonic metal style, soon dubbed “opera metal,” inspired many other metal bands and singers. As part of Nightwish Tarja released five albums between 1997 and 2005, as well as three live albums, one EP and 14 singles.
Tarja was dismissed from the band in October 2005 for personal reasons. She started her solo career in 2006 with the release of a Christmas album titled “Henkäys Ikuisuudesta.” In 2007, Turunen released “My Winter Storm,” an album featuring various styles, including alternative rock and symphonic metal and started the Storm World Tour.
Tarja released her third album, “What Lies Beneath,” in 2010. She performed several concerts in Europe, playing in metal festivals including the Graspop Metal Meeting and the Wacken Open Air, before starting the What Lies Beneath World Tour, scheduled to last until April 2012.